SARGE STEEL: 13 Classic DICK GIORDANO Charlton Covers and Pages


The late Dick Giordano — born 91 years ago on July 20, 1932 — is a 13th Dimension fave and with his birthday upon us, we’ve decided to publish not one, not two, but three retrospectives: two by Paul Kupperberg and one by Peter Bosch. The links to the other columns — all about his stint at Charlton Comics — can be found below. Thank you and good afternoon. — Dan


While Dick Giordano was probably best known as an inker at DC Comics, as well as an editor, he was a superb artist on his own. His career in comics started in 1952, freelancing for Charlton with art on titles such as Lash LaRue Western and Racket Squad in Action.

A series I consider one of his best as an artist at Charlton was Sarge Steel (created by Pat Masuli and written by Joe Gill). A former Special Forces military combatant, Steel lost his left hand in Vietnam and it was replaced (naturally) by a steel appendage. By the first issue (Dec. 1964) of the series, Steel had become a private detective.  However, the assignments Steel got involved with were seldom local investigations; instead, they seemed to lend themselves to international events where he encountered communists and Nazi leftovers, so it was no surprise that the cover’s title was modified to Sarge Steel: Special Agent with the sixth issue. The series came to an end, at least temporarily, with the eighth issue (Mar.-Apr. 1966).

With the ninth issue, the title was changed to Secret Agent (Oct. 1966). Steel then moved over to backup stories, appearing in Judomaster #91 to #96 (Oct. 1966 to Aug. 1967, respectively) and then back to a 10th issue of Secret Agent (Oct. 1967), the last in that series. However, it was back to Judomaster #97 and #98 for the last of the original run. (Steel also popped up in Fightin’ Five #34, September 1965, and Thunderbolt #58, July 1967.

(Giordano’s artwork appeared in most of the stories across the various series. Steel, meanwhile, was later transferred to the DC Universe, along with other Charlton heroes.)

All covers and pages below were pencilled and inked by Dick Giordano. Scripts by Joe Gill unless noted (except Who’s Who):

Sarge Steel #1 (Dec. 1964) 

Sarge Steel #1 (Dec. 1964) 

Sarge Steel #2 (Feb. 1965) 

Sarge Steel #2 (Feb. 1965)

Sarge Steel #3 (Apr.-May 1965) 

Sarge Steel #3 (Apr.-May 1965)

Sarge Steel #4 (July 1965)

Sarge Steel #5 (Sept. 1965)

Sarge Steel #7 (Jan. 1966)

Secret Agent #10 (Oct. 1967)

Judomaster #95 (June 1967). Script by Steve Skeates.

Judomaster #96 (Aug. 1967). Script by Steve Skeates.

Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #20 (Oct. 1986)


— PART 1: 13 Classic DICK GIORDANO Charlton Romance Covers — in Glorious Black and White. Click here.

— PART 2: 13 Classic DICK GIORDANO Weird CHARLTON Covers — in Spooky Black and White. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. These are really nice. Dick was a good artist. I remember being a little disappointed when he stopped inking George Perez on Crisis on Infinite Earths, no disrespect ment for Jerry Ordway

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  2. I absolutely enjoyed Sarge Steel as a kid! I wish they would bring him and his silver Luger and his various enemies back!

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